My hamburger shaped spaceship has returned just in time for Monday.

Here we are once again at the start of a brand new week, and what do we have to show for ourselves? Well, if you happened to be in Austin over the weekend, you probably stood around telling people how awesome they were, while they in turn told other people how awesome they were, and so on.
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That’s a big group hug.

I had to steer clear of the computer for the most part these last few days on account of the sheer number of random bursts of banal minutiae (which by the way will be the name for my punk band. We’ll play hard hitting revolutionary anthems about what kinds of cheese we put on our sandwiches) was driving me to my breaking point. Don’t get me wrong.. The only thing I enjoy more than custom bikes is the people that I know who make them. That said, there is a hysteria that has been developing around the craft for the past several years that I can’t quite wrap my mind around.

Perhaps it’s just that I don’t generally care how many bends Jeff Jones can fit onto a single frame, or that Sasha White single handedly developed his own signature line of tungston electrode rods.

Does anyone here remember the Ibis Bow Ti?
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That was revolutionary at a time as well, yet today nobody could give a shit.

I suppose my point is that personally over the years I’ve seen a few trends come and go, and in that time there have been bells and whistles and widgets and googahs that (depending on their gender) people would give the left portion of their specific genitalia for, but in the long run, most of all of that glitz and glam faded away into obscurity;
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With this in mind, a handful of local artisans who opted out of this year’s Convention-Of-Mutual-Admiration opted rather to spend their time riding the bikes that they craft. To quote Soulcraft’s El Capitán Pirata, “If a group of frame builders goes riding together and no one knows about it, is it cool?” The answer is, “No, definitely not.”

But arybody got they own kind of perspective, (though in the contemporary bike world, there seems to be very little at all) and besides, do you think you could trust the opinion of this man anyway?
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“Driver… To the water park!”

On Saturday, the esteemed group including the aforementioned Pirata, Blue Collar’s Robert Ives, Paul from Rock Lobster, Rick from Hunter as well as a smattering of other friends and enemies alike braved a crisp El Niña day to go out and explore the country side. What follows are photos of people not standing inside of a convention center;
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Of course there was a bevy of bits and pieces to drool over here as well, only in a completely practical environment. I liken my opinion to one that is similar to that of car show aficionados who despise the idea of trailering a beautiful 1967 GTO around from exhibition to exhibition. A car like that is meant to be driven.

These lovely machines aren’t treasures, painstakingly assembled to be polished, babied, and photographed. They are tools that are meant to be used, and are far more attractive when seen in their natural environment, being abused as God herself intended.
You can say what you will about my stance on the NAHBSEIYS (North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show Except If You’re Shimano) but I stand by my convictions. Recently while trolling the interwebs looking for a kindred spirit, I came across Guitar Ted who said everything I would if I were smrtr… I mean, smarter. Touching on some similar points that I made in the article I wrote for the Spring 2010 issue of Bike Monkey Magazine, Guitar Ted played a song that was seemingly written just for me for me.

As I mentioned via Tweet to the Diamond Wizard, between the Cherubim pursuit bike and the Calfee crabon/bamboo tall bike, I promptly sold all of my stable and decided to dedicate the remainder of my life to Dungeons and Dragons.
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And that my friends, is the sound of one hand clapping.

As we embark onto other topics.. I was thinking about what one commenter said on Wednesday regarding my spew on the house’s plan to bar funding from Planned Parenthood. He thoughtfully pointed out that while as a whole, he felt I had made some good points, by describing the government’s attempts at controlling birth and death as Fascist, I had crossed the line.

I immediately began thinking about the Terri Schiavo case, as well as situations in my own life where someone wanting to end their battle with an excruciating terminal illness was questioned or tripped up in that process by the government. Or in reference to the post in question, another commenter’s inclusion of a proposed Uterus Police Force, both seeming pretty much like the attempted governmental control of both birth and birth and death.

That definition was actually taught to me by one of my high school political science teachers.. Not that a Fascism is what we were then or are now living under, but how one could very simply define it.

While I certainly don’t want to alienate people here, (much) I feel as though these specific agendas have done nothing but alienate me. Perhaps I did speak out of turn, as the bulk of the post was directed towards health care and those without, and as we all probably know, the procedure of abortions is a very small role that Planned Parenthood fills. At the end of the day however, this is my platform, and these are my opinions and observations. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, though understand that this is as much a forum for their opinion as it is mine if they care to engage.

It is with that that I say thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.

In news of the world, unless you spend your days buried beneath your blanket with the lights out, you’re well aware that Christchurch, New Zealand has gotten an ass whoopin’ of biblical proportions. In scanning the interwebs looking at images recently, I was wholly disheartened, and brought back to being in downtown San Francisco during the Loma Prieta quake of 1989. Based on the news feeds, I had concluded that nearly all of the peaceful land of NZ had been swallowed up, until I came across this shot;
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As I stated elsewhere, that is a glass of lemonade when life gives you a ridiculously large pile of lemons.

I think it’s safe to say that this young man’s perspective delivers a group hug that I think we can all get behind.
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14 thoughts on “My hamburger shaped spaceship has returned just in time for Monday.

  1. I imagine somewhere very special in Annadel State Park, John Castellano is flipping the NAHBSEIYS the bird with his left hand and crazy horns with his right as he descends Burma trail with his hair on fire and his jeans buffeting from the wind. THAT is what handmade bikes are about.
    Stevil, I’d appreciate it if, for old times sake, you could photoshop those Magic Motorcycle cranks onto that Bow-ti. It might prevent me from needing to turn on the naked girl machine today – before I go flog my worlds-most-perfect-handmade-bicycle: my nearly 20 year old Szazbo. (thanks John.)
    ~jake

  2. Thanks for the fun times! And as it was explained to me by a wise person some years ago regarding naysayers, “If you want to be the most popular person around, don’t have an opinion.” F ‘em!

  3. The NASHBAHSHAH or whatever is about demonstrating what CAN be done when you combine new tech + bikes. It’s not about demonstrating what SHOULD be done when you combine new tech + bikes, because that show would fit in your garage and no one would be able to make money on it.

  4. fyi they’re ticketing in wilder. just take the metro up to twin gates. dont mind the crying asian kid studying for his organic chem final.

  5. Stevil,
    I feel your pain. I see all the old guys my age with the big money that I don’t have buying up old bikes and making them into art.
    I’m like you, they are meant to be ridden.
    As far as the hand built stuff. I play music and People get handbuilt guitars all the time 99% don’t hang them on the wall they play them… that’s why they get them built. Why are cyclists different?
    -B

  6. The Ibis bike was the first Ti bike I ever rode: tested in the parking lot of Ibis, when they were in Sebastopol. Ex girlfriend called the place, some dude show me around the place and then let me use the bike, even though I was exhibiting a fairly new proof of my lack of skill, in the way of a nice 5 inch scratch in the knee. Took the bike for a couple of laps around the parking lot, came back and the guy was gone, leaving me alone in the parking lot with a really expensive bike… Good times. And when life give you lemons, it is a sign to start making margaritas.

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